Beginning this year, the winner of the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition at the Alliance Theatre will automatically be selected to attend the annual O'Neill National Playwrights Conference held each summer in Waterford, CT. Submissions for the Kendeda prize are open to playwright in graduate playwriting programs.
Alliance Theatre artistic director Susan V. Booth, who conceptualized the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition, funded by the Kendeda Foundation, said in a statement: "A critical commitment the Alliance makes to our art form is the contribution of major new works of dramatic literature to the canon. By annually producing the best new work coming out of the field's finest training programs, we make good on that commitment."
Wendy Goldberg, artistic director of the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, said that one of the primary goals of the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center is to support the work of emerging playwrights by giving them the opportunity to work with the finest professionals in the field.
"Our collaboration with The Alliance Theater and with the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition allows both organizations to fully support the work of a graduate playwright and to give this writer the support necessary to see their work flourish," she stated. "I am truly excited about this collaboration and know that playwrights will benefit from the strength and wisdom of these two organizations, working together, to bring new work to the stage."
Now in its second year, The Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition is a unique national competition that "exposes emerging playwrights to the world of professional theatre through experiences working with a nationally recognized theatre." The grand prize for the winner of the Kendeda Competition is a professional world premiere production of his/her work at the Alliance Theatre. With this new O'Neill agreement, the winning playwright has the opportunity to participate in a national theatre workshop (at the O'Neill) prior to their play being produced the following spring.
The 2006 winner (and runners up) will be announced in late January, a spokesman said. The 2005 winner was …," said Said by Kenneth Lin. It will be produced by Alliance in spring 2006. Sharon Ott will direct.
At the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, playwright participants are teamed with emerging and seasoned directors and actors from on and off Broadway and regional theatres to engage in a six-day a week process of rehearsals and two script-in-hand readings of their play.
Now in its 37th season, Atlanta's Alliance Theatre has established itself as the leading professional resident theatre of the Southeast. It stages nearly a dozen works per season on two stages at Atlanta's Woodruff Arts Center. The Alliance Theatre has launched such works as Carson McCullers' The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Alice Walker's The Color Purple, Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky, Elton John and Tim Rice's Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida, Sandra Deer's So Long on Lonely Street, and Alfred Uhry's The Last Night of Ballyhoo.
For more information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org.